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19 Feb 2015 

WHO Introduces Free ICD 10 Self Learning Tool

WHO’s decision to delay the mandatory compliance of ICD 10 has relieved a large number of healthcare providers across the world. However, recent reports indicate that healthcare providers are still worried about the ICD 10 compliance although there is a year ahead for the same. As per its latest amendment, WHO postponed the mandatory of compliance of ICD 10 to 1st October 2015. 

Healthcare Providers Anxious about Getting Familiar with New Coding System in One Year

Most healthcare providers believe that they need more time to get familiar with the latest ICD 10 coding system. In fact, they find the one-year relaxation inadequate. While large hospitals are fine with the new coding system because they have already trained their staff in using the new coding system, small healthcare institutions are still a long way behind in getting familiar with the new coding system. For them, it is neither practical to send their employees to attend ICD 10 training programs nor to hire experts to conduct the training sessions. 

WHO Devices ICD 10 Training Tool

Meanwhile, it was reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) has devised a simple ICD 10 training tool, aimed at helping healthcare organizations across the world to get familiar with the new coding system. What is even more surprising is that the tool is totally free. The tool is ideal for both self-learning as well as classroom based learning. The structure of the tool is modular and therefore it can be easily manipulated to suit user groups. This way, the tool can help them plan out the courses for various types of learners. 

Focus of the Tool

The main focus of WHO’s training tool is to enable people to pick up lessons on ER coding and Impatient coding. In the progress of the training program, learners can pick up lessons on more complicated topics such as diagnostic codes and procedure codes. 

WHO Training Tool can Significantly Reduce the Cost of ICD 10 Transition 

The most attractive side of WHO’s ICD 10 training tool is that it can significantly reduce the cost for small healthcare providers to make a transition from ICD 9 to ICD 10. 

The initial feedbacks about the tool have been great and it is reported that more and more healthcare providers are adopting it to help their employees get familiar with the new coding system and be prepared for the mandatory compliance of ICD 10 next year. 

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03 Feb 2015 

What Is Meaningful Use And What Are Its Benefits

In the healthcare industry, Meaningful Use refers to the usage of certified electronic health record technology in a meaningful manner. Such a use of EHR is considered responsible for improving the safety, efficiency, as well as the overall service quality provided to the patients. With this, it becomes easier for the healthcare centers to ensure better care coordination as well as maintain the privacy as well as security of the patients’ health information, without the same being leaked out.

There are three stages designed for Meaningful Use to support the eligible medical professionals as well as the medical centers to implement and use EHR properly. This helps them to improve the safety and quality of the healthcare system. This also helps to determine whether an organization will receive payments from the Federal Government under the Medical EHR Incentive Program.

This concept is mainly aimed at improving the quality and efficiency, but it also reduces the differences in the healthcare services provided. Evidently, Meaningful Use program would promote the widespread use of electronic health records systems, which ensures creating a well-developed infrastructure in the healthcare industry.

In order to qualify for this program’s incentive payments, the provider must adopt an EHR strategy and show that they are using the records ‘meaningfully’. This is usually done by meeting a number of objectives that are designed in order to have a positive impact on the patients’ care. Once an eligible healthcare provider has opted for a program, they are allowed to make a onetime switch from one to the other.

The key benefit of Meaningful Use is that it ensures improved coordination of healthcare services given to the patients. The information can be shared easily across the medical care communities and that can include physician offices, hospitals as well as other health systems. This also helps these healthcare centers to receive accurate medical information electronically and then share it with other systems over the Internet. Hence, patients can also play a more active role in ensuring their healthcare as well as of their families. 

Along with this, access to information about various medications, diagnoses, and medical conditions is also made possible, which reduces the overall risk of errors. 

The overall value of meaningfully using the EHR program is that it endorses a more efficient and safer way to medical practice and provide better care to the patients.

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28 Jan 2015 

Not Many Hospitals Meet Meaningful Use Stage 2

Recent statistics show that less than 17 percent of healthcare institutions have demonstrated Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements, as scheduled by the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data. 

Actually, not more than 38 percent of eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals have been successful in meeting Stage 1 of Meaningful Use until recently. 

CMS has shelled out more than $25 billion incentive payments for those eligible hospitals and professionals taking part in the Stage 2 of MU. The latest data sure looks disappointing as they reflect on how healthcare centers are finding it difficult to meet with the prescribed Meaningful Use requirements. The deadline is nearing as eligible professionals have only three months, i.e. until February 2015, for reporting their current progress. The worrying fact is that only about two percent have been capable of successfully demonstrating Stage 2 capabilities so far.

The things are moving at an alarmingly slow pace, and in a release, experts from the American Medical Association (AMA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and others have called the latest results “disappointing, yet predictable.”

According to CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, “Stage 2 participation data released today have validated the concerns of providers and IT leaders. These numbers continue to underscore the need for a sensible glide path in 2015”. He added, “Providers have struggled mightily in 2014, in many instances for reasons beyond their control. If nothing is done to help them get back on track in 2015, we will continue to see growing dissatisfaction with EHRs and disenchantment with Meaningful Use.”

The Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Anders M. Gilberg mentioned, “The low number of EP attestations to date is clear evidence that physician practices and their vendor partners have faced significant challenges in meeting the more onerous Stage 2 requirements of MU”. He further added that shortening the reporting period next year is probably the most important change to be done for the program to remain viable. Moreover, it is a crucial step if the country is to make good progress toward the objectives concerning interoperability.

Executive Vice President of HIMSS, Carla Smith said, “We’re focused on transforming health and healthcare”. She added that Stage 2 and 2014 certified Electronic Health Record technology are significantly important drivers helping to reach the outcome.

The biggest concern can be the full-year of reporting required using 2014 edition certified Electronic Health Record technology (CEHRT) next year. Because of this, many eligible hospitals and physicians are at risk of not meeting MU in 2015 and it can seriously affect the continuous forward progress of the program.

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